MEXICAN LASAGNAJeez. Is not it completely annoying when people can’t settle on their favorite lasagna? Altering their loyalties with each variation that arrives on the scene. Fair weathered lasagna friends.

Oh wait, that’s me.

I have a thing for lasagna. Back in my school days, together with Cowboy Dinner, we whipped Mexican lasagna constantly but I’ve forgotten it in my older age.

When Heather B., a reader, sent me her version, I remembered the Mexican lasagna of yesteryear and decided to think of the greatest Mexican lasagna.

That is it. A meaty and flavorful sauce studded with black beans and succulent corn kernels. And it all smothered in cheese with creamy pockets of sour cream and cream cheese.

It’s distinct and unique and totally delicious.

Now I’m left thinking what lasagna variation will bowl me over next. I am thinking of entering the Guinness Book of World Records for”Longest List of Favorite Lasagnas.”

Er, maybe not.

MEXICAN LASAGNA

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • dash of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cup frozen corn kernels white or yellow
  • 1 6 ounce can olives, chopped
  • 9-12 no-boil lasagna noodles I love the Barilla brand, or boil and drain regular lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream light or regular
  • 8 ounces cream cheese light or regular

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
  • At a sizable 12-inch skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey and onion over moderate heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease. Add the minced garlic and tomato paste. Stir to combine well and cook for about a minute. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Add the black beans, corn and olives.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer three (or four, depending upon the brand of noodles you utilize ) noodles over the sauce. Spread 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles. Dollop 1/3 of the sour cream and 1/3 of this cream cheese (just pinch off chunks and throw them on top) round the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of those cheeses. Repeat the layers two more times before all of the components are used.
  • Cover the lasagna with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer, until the lasagna is hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into and functioning.